Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Language of Defeat

As I was channel surfing one night I came across Senator John McCain on the Charlie Rose Show. If these guys weren’t so frightening they would be laughable. As I was listening to him speak, I couldn’t get over how he kept using the same catch phrases from decades ago. It’s as if these guys are living in a time warp, this is still 1950 in their minds and nothing can change that. The rhetoric is still the “gunboat” philosophy that has characterized our foreign policy for a generation.

He continually used the buzz words, “Israel” and “projection of American power”. Is it just me or have these guys been cryogenically frozen for the last 60 years? The world has changed their view of it has not. As long as our foreign policy is being conducted by those who are still living in some “glorious past”, we will never be safe or free. We must adjust our foreign policy goals to reflect the real world and not some false assumption provided by “analysis” that haven’t seen the real world in who knows how long. The more we continue to bang the same song on the same drum the sooner we escalate our descent into irrelevancy. We are becoming nothing more than the sandlot bully, gone are the principles and credibility of democracy. They have been replaced by the tenets of greed and racism.

I think what shocked me the most was an exchange between Mr. McCain and Charlie Rose when Mr. McCain was talking about the Chinese building aircraft carriers and how that was something we needed to watch closely. According to Mr. McCain the aircraft carrier allows the host nation to project its power around the world. Charlie Rose retorted that we have aircraft carriers why shouldn’t the Chinese, it was at this point the hypocrisy became unbearable. Mr. McCain said that the difference was that the US “didn’t have a history of imposing its power on other nations”. Charlie Rose then asked if the Chinese had such a history and Mr. McCain said no, but they still had to be watched carefully.

First of all the line about the US not having a history of imposing it’s power on other nations by the use of aircraft carriers was ridiculous. I think Mr. McCain is suffering from selective amnesia, so just in case let me just refresh his memory. Obviously he has forgotten about Iraq, Grenada, the whole southern hemisphere, Cuba and the list goes on and on. For our leaders to go on television and make these types of statements, it is no wonder the credibility of the US is at an all-time low.

This rhetoric of good versus evil has to stop. The politics of the cold war must be replaced by the diplomacy of the new world. We can’t continue to kill those who don’t agree with us. At the same time we silence dissent at home by violating the very document that is supposed to stand for democracy. Before we start trying to repair what’s wrong in the world, maybe we should spend a little time righting what is wrong here in this country. With this shoot first and ask questions later foreign policy, it is we who have the rest of the world leery. Is America the source of all that is wrong in the world? No, but we have to accept our culpability where applicable and strive to not repeat the mistakes of the past.

The current crop of politicians and media types appear to have learned nothing from the past and are dead set on repeating the same mistakes. Mr. McCain and others, the world has changed and continues to evolve, it is a shame that you people have not. If my truths do not evolve, but remain steadfast in false premises then I have learned nothing. Worse than the fact that I have learned nothing is that with this mindset I am incapable of learning, which is not only foolish but dangerous. It is this mindset that will cause us to be defeated in Iraq as it has caused our defeats in the past.

There's no principles in what you say
No direction in the things you do
For your world is soon to come to a close
Through the ages all great men have taught
Truth and happiness just can't be bought-or sold
Tell me why are you people so cold

I'm...... Going back to Saturn where the rings all glow
Rainbow, moonbeams and orange snow On Saturn
People live to be two hundred and five
Going back to Saturn where the people smile
Don't need cars cause we've learn to fly On Saturn
Just to live to us is our natural high

We have come here many times before
To find your strategy to peace is war
Killing helpless men, women and children
That don't even know what they're dying for
We can't trust you when you take a stand
With a gun and bible in your hand
And the cold expression on your face
Saying give us what we want or we'll destroy

Stevie Wonder

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